Recipe: Cincinnati Chili

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For those of you who have never tried Cincinnati Chili, the ingredients and serving style may seem a little odd. Don’t let that stop you from trying this recipe! You will love it, I promise! There are a few ways to eat this…a 3 way is pasta covered in chili and cheese, a 4 way has all of those plus chopped onions, and a 5 way has all THAT plus beans. Another great way to serve this is as a ‘Coney‘ which is a hotdog covered with chili and cheese. Add whichever toppings you and your family prefer. We make the full batch and have enough to feed 4 and freeze half for another day.

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Cincinnati Chili
2 pounds ground beef
3 cups water
1 large onion (diced)
3 large cloves of garlic (minced)
3 TBSP chili powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp Cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 TBSP cocoa
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 bay leaves

Saute ground beef in large pot with lid until cooked. Drain and rinse if necessary. Add all remaining ingredients and stir. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook over low heat 2 or 3 hours. Keep an eye on the liquid level. This should not be soupy but thick. Take the cover off if you need to thicken it up a little. Remove bay leaves when done!

Serve as described above over whatever type of pasta you like. Traditionally served over strings but we often do whole wheat rotini.


  1. Sounds so good. Now I want chili :)
  2. I always thought it was strange that people eat chili with pasta in it. But I have had Cincinnati Chili. We have a restaurant that is Cincinnati Chili based. It is nice change....
  3. Cocoa? I wouldn't have thought of that as a chili ingredient. Sounds yummy.


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